LA 2024 Says We Need The Olympics 'Now More Than Ever' After Trump's Election
Back in August, Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that the election of Donald Trump would hurt Los Angeles' chances at the 2024 Olympic bid (he later walked back those statements). Well, that moment has come to pass, and now the LA 2024 team is now trying to convince Olympic officials that America isn't as bad as President-elect Donald Trump makes it seem.
"We just finished our presidential election, and some of you may question America's commitment to its founding principles," Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix said when she addressed the general Assembly of National Olympic Committees in Qatar on Tuesday. "I have one message for you: Please don't doubt us. America's diversity is our greatest strength."
Felix is a six-time Olympic gold medalist who was born and raised in Los Angeles. She most recently won a silver medal in the women's 400 m at the Rio games.
The LA 2024 team is currently in Doha, Qatar, along with the competing committees from Paris and Budapest, to make their case for the 2024 Olympics before the Association of National Olympic Committees. There were fears that Trump's isolationist and racist rhetoric would make the international community wary of hosting the games in the United States, but Felix said the country "needs the games to help make our nation better, now more than ever," according to the AP.
Mayor Garcetti, who is also in Doha, added, "I see an America that is outward-looking, ready to play its role alongside the community of nations to address our world's most pressing challenges."
On Wednesday, the day after the presidential election, the LA 2024 team released a statement congratulating Trump on his election and said they were looking forward to working with the future administration. "We strongly believe the Olympics and LA 2024 transcend politics and can help unify our diverse communities and our world," the statement read.
Both Garcetti and Casey Wasserman, a sports executive who officially leads the bid, were both prominent Hillary Clinton supporters.
The AP notes that the Paris bid is also under the cloud of the potential election of a right-wing, nationalist president. Marine Le Pen of the National Front, who currently leads many polls in France, called Trump's election "a sign of hope."
The Doha meeting is the first of three events where the competing cities will make their presentations. The next one is in July in Switzerland, and the third and final one is on September 13, 2017 in Lima, where the International Olympic Committee will cast their vote and announce their decision.